I have just made a start on a Primary ICT course with the view on how things are done “on the other side”. Hopefully this will be an insight into how ICT (and Computer Science) is (or rather SHOULD be) taught in schools at a Primary level and perhaps give me ideas that I can implement into my Secondary teaching, or even make a move into primary teaching myself…?!
In general, and I’m sure many teachers in my position will agree, that students nowadays come into the secondary classroom with very little in the way of ICT and Computing knowledge and etiquette. Sure, they will know how to create the odd email or PowerPoint presentation and even have a Facebook account, however their parents are generally under the illusion that if they can do more as children than they can do as adults, then they must be good! – All too often this is translated into “my child is brilliant on the computer, they will do very well in ICT” or “ICT is an easy subject, we won’t worry too much about that!” and then seem very disappointed when their child doesn’t perform as expected.
The truth is, ICT is an evolving subject and we as educators have to stay a step ahead of the game. In my 10 years as an ICT teacher I’ve had to redesign my Schemes of Work every year just to ensure that the content I deliver is recent and relevant. Only last week in my discussion with my Year 8 class who were learning how to create websites using basic HTML tags, I told them that I had learnt HTML at University; then we stopped to think about what they would be doing at University level – an interesting discussion then ensued which rendered my lesson plan for that lesson useless! (A productive lesson nonetheless).
I’ll just be using this space to share ideas with others (perhaps you’re doing the same course?) so I will try and leave it generally open for comments and discussion (please keep them clean and productive guys!). Lets see how things go.
Another reason for this is because I find it embarrassing that after many years of teaching a technical subject, I am yet to harness the very technology I endorse…perhaps it’s now time to practice what I preach.